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‘Like a scene that you see in war’: 6 cops shot in Philadelphia drugs raid gone wrong

‘Like a scene that you see in war’:  6 cops shot in Philadelphia drugs raid gone wrong
Philadelphia police attempting to serve a drugs warrant were drawn into an hours-long shootout after heavily-armed suspects opened fire, wounding at least 6 officers and terrifying residents in the Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood.

It was like a war - like a scene you see in war,” one resident told WCAU-TV, shocked that such violence could break out in broad daylight where “children are running around playing.” She reported hearing over 100 gunshots as the confrontation dragged into its third hour, with two officers still trapped inside a home exchanging fire with a suspect.

The guns, the fire, the noise - it was like bombs going off simultaneously at a time where people are having dinner.

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Police were finally able to escort some 80 children to safety from a daycare facility near the shootout, having previously reassured their parents they were safe in the locked-down facility only to stop the parents from attempting to retrieve them and possibly stumbling into harm’s way, but with one suspect in custody, the other showed no signs of giving up. 

When they said it was actually across the street from the day care - it's a parent's nightmare,” Philadelphia resident Kevin Williams told WPVI-TV.

After nearly five hours, officers who had been trapped in a house with at least one suspect were finally able to leave. Police had spent over an hour “imploring” the gunman to surrender, even reportedly using a flashbang grenade in an unsuccessful attempt to subdue the suspect.

The shootout began around 4:30pm local time as a narcotics “strike force” attempted to serve a warrant, only to be met by gunfire from a man wielding an assault rifle downstairs, shooting through the ceiling. Police returned fire, with at least one officer hit immediately, and desperately called for backup, bringing SWAT teams and dozens more officers to the scene.

Officer calls for everything you got - SWAT, ASAP, long gun, ASAP,” one officer could be heard requesting on radio obtained by WCAU. “I got an officer shot.”

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Even the arrival of reinforcements went awry, however, as an officer and a pedestrian were injured in a traffic accident while rushing to the scene. While one suspect was captured relatively early, six officers were shot in the firefight and have been taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. A total of nine cops were wounded.

I’m a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we’ll get to that another day,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters outside one hospital.

Helicopter footage shows dozens of police vehicles and multiple ambulances filling the streets as the confrontation unfolds, while officers fire at the gunman from behind parked cars and flatten themselves against walls in the hope of avoiding return volleys.

Residents were left speechless at the sudden transformation of their neighborhood into a war zone. “I can’t believe it, especially so close to home,” one man said.

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